TWICE, now one of the most successful girl groups in the history of K-Pop, didn’t happen overnight. The talented and beautiful members of this remarkable girl group came a long way before they debuted as one. Find out how each precious member got discovered and began her journey to K-Pop stardom.
Nayeon was a trainee for five years and two months before she debuted with TWICE.
Nayeon and JYP Entertainment were fated to be. When she was a little girl, she entered a modeling competition and was noticed and casted by the agency. Unfortunately, her mother refused to allow her to model and Nayeon was unable to begin training with the agency.
By 2010, Nayeon decided the stage life is what she wanted. She auditioned at JYP Entertainment’s 7th Open Audition without telling her family. When Nayeon passed as the second best out of the whole group that auditioned, she proved she had not only the passion, but the potential too and ended up signing as a trainee with the agency.
Nayeon had always been the ace card. Aside from her flying colors at the audition, she also won the Seoul Art College Dean’s Award and the Spris Star Award. She became a popular trainee with great potential to become a super idol.
JYP Entertainment saw her as the gem she is and supported her so she could gain more experience in the K-Pop world even before she debuted. She appeared in GOT7‘s “Girls Girls Girls”, San E‘s “You Can’t Go”, and miss A‘s “Only You” music videos. Nayeon also modeled for several brands like Nintendo Wii’s Just Dance 2, Smart School Uniform, TN cosmetics, and many more. Viewers grew curious about her when she appeared as an aspiring idol-student in Dream High 2.
Fully prepped with the talent and training, Nayeon was naturally selected to become one of the members of JYP Entertainment’s next girl group called 6MIX. The debut of this girl group, however, became cancelled when it lost two members and faced difficulties in replacing the members with the right trainees.
Around a year later from the cancelled debut, Nayeon joined the TV audition program SIXTEEN, held by JYP Entertainment to seek out the qualifying final members of the agency’s newly planned girl group. Nayeon, a trusted trainee that had J. Y. Park‘s faith and support, became the first to be announced as an official member of TWICE.
“I trust Nayeon now. She acts a strong core for the team and leads her teammates.” — J. Y. Park
October 2015, Nayeon debuted with TWICE. She is now most beloved, not only for her amazing performance skills, but also for her goofy-fun personality.
Jeongyeon trained for five years and eight months prior to her debut as TWICE.
Jeongyeon auditioned for JYP Entertainment when she was younger. Unfortunately, she didn’t make the cut her first time around. This did not stop Jeongyeon from pursuing her dream of becoming a K-Pop star though.
By 2010, Jeongyeon tried again at the 6th JYP Entertainment Open Audition and passed with an Ivy Star Award. In fact, she heard back from both SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment on the same day, but she chose JYP Entertainment because she was more attracted to the agency.
“I have never thought about debuting with any other agency than JYP Entertainment.” — Jeongyeon
Around 2014, Jeongyeon had high hopes of debuting as one of the members for 6MIX, along with Nayeon. With the unfortunate cancellation of the production of this group, Jeongyeon fell into a state of despair and actually didn’t attend her trainings at the agency. She spent a couple months part-timing at a bakery and realized she liked baking. Right about when she was going to pick up baking as a new career path, JYP Entertainment called her to ask if she would like to appear on SIXTEEN.
Thank goodness Jeongyeon decided to return to the agency and participate in the TV audition program, because she was amazing on the show. Repeatedly ranking within the top three contestants on the program, Jeongyeon was widely accepted by the viewers as a potential member.
When SIXTEEN ended July 7th, 2015, Jeongyeon was confirmed to be debuting with TWICE. With her “girl crush” traits, Jeongyeon is now a popular member that attracts both male and female fans alike.
Momo was a trainee for three years and seven months before debuting with TWICE.
Momo has always been an avid dancer. She learned how to dance at a studio since she was three years old. While practicing at the STEP OUT Dance Studio, located in Osaka, Japan, Momo came across the opportunity to appear in a Korean singer Lexy‘s “Ma People” music video.
By 2011, her dream to become a successful entertainer grew strong as Momo auditioned as a four-member girl group for the Superstar K3‘s preliminary round in Japan. Unfortunately, Momo didn’t make the cut for this program either.
It was JYP Entertainment that discovered Momo through YouTube. A video of Momo’s dance performance was uploaded, which intrigued the agency’s casting team. Momo was contacted to audition. She tried out with her old sister, but passed by herself. She felt bad about being the only one to be selected, but after discussing things with her family, she decided to pursue her dream in Korea and began training with JYP Entertainment immediately.
Momo is said to have been a part of the agency’s “Japanese Girl Group” in the making. When the production was dropped, Momo – along with the two other Japanese members of TWICE – signed up for SIXTEEN. While she originally did not make the cut on the final episode of the show, Momo was chosen by J. Y. Park himself to be an additional member of the debuting group because she offered dance skills like no other trainee could.
“I have chosen Momo whom I believe will improve TWICE’s dancer line and the group’s performance overall.” — J. Y. Park
Now, Momo is TWICE’s best dancer, but more importantly, silliest member with a personality that fans cannot resist.
Sana trained for three years and seven months before she debuted as TWICE.
Since 2009 when she was in 6th grade, Sana practiced dancing for around two years at the EXPG Osaka branch of the EXILE Dance Academy to become a singer. So for Sana, singing and dancing have always been her passion and dream.
When Sana was in middle school, by 2012, she was discovered when she was out shopping with her friend. A JYP Entertainment casting associate noticed her and approached her. The friend who had been with her at the time spoke Korean and helped the agent and Sana communicate. Sana later explained she decided to try out for the JYP Global Audition because the casting associate showed her pictures of the Dream High cast as the agency’s managing artists. Sana was a fan of the K-Drama and recognized the artists.
Sana passed the audition, but her parents were not too sure about allowing her to quit middle school and sending her overseas by herself to pursue an entertainment career. The reason became clear, however, when Sana’s mother took Sana to see a 2PM concert and Sana claimed she wanted to be on the stage too. Sana moved to Korea in April of 2012 and began training with JYP Entertainment.
During her training period, Sana appeared in several music videos. With her eye-catching visual, fans wondered who she could be in GOT7’s “A” and 2PM’s Junho‘s “Feel” music videos.
Sana remained a part of the Japanese girl group project under development by the agency. When another close-to-debut girl group, 6MIX, lost a member, Sana was chosen to replace the position. She received a great amount of attention as a member of this potential girl group. Unfortunately, the girl group’s debut was cancelled and Sana had to wait another year before appearing on SIXTEEN.
Sana was stable throughout the show and won her way into debuting with TWICE. She is a widely loved member now, with fans who promise “No Sana, No Life”.
Jihyo was a JYP Entertainment trainee for over a decade.
It was August 2004 when Jihyo entered the 1st Junior Naver Child Acting Star competition and won second place. While her parents signed her up to do this, Jihyo showed great potential and was recognized by JYP Entertainment’s casting team. She was casted by the agency immediately.
From July 2005 to her debut in October 2015, Jihyo endured ten years and four months of training with JYP Entertainment. Throughout the years, she watched the Wonder Girls and miss A debut while she remained a trainee.
Jihyo did receive some exposure during her trainee period though, as she modeled for brands like TN cosmetics and Reebok.
Jihyo was also a part of the members who were preparing to debut as the girl group 6MIX. When the project was dropped, Jihyo had no choice but to continue training and hope for a different chance, as she had already devoted ten years to pursuing this career and could not change her path. She later shared that during these years of her debut getting pushed around and cancelled caused a tremendous amount of stress for her and she had developed a binge eating habit at the time.
When she joined SIXTEEN, Jihyo received somewhat of a criticism for being chubbier than the girl group standard. She proved herself, however, with pure talent and diligence and won her way into the finalists’ group. She also worked hard to shed the pounds she had put on from the stress eating. Viewers fell in love with Jihyo as she journeyed through the final stages of her decade-long traineeship and stepped closer to debut.
“I have never doubted your singing and dancing skills, have I?” — J. Y. Park
Jihyo, the icon of “hard work pays off”, is now guiding TWICE toward more fame and success as the group’s rightful leader.
Mina trained for a short year and ten months prior to debuting with TWICE.
Mina started off as a ballet student at the prestigious Obayashi Sacred Heart School in Japan. So she has always been a dancer and performer at heart. She didn’t know she wanted to become a K-Pop idol at this point though.
Then in middle school, she became interested in K-Pop after a friend of hers suggested they learn the choreography to a Girls Generation song. She dove deeper into the world of K-Pop after attending the 2012 Golden Disk Award held in Osaka, Japan. Eventually, Mina signed up at a K-Pop dance school called URIZIP to learn K-Pop choreographies.
Mina was approached by a JYP Entertainment casting associate when she was shopping with her mother in Osaka. Mina passed her JYP Global Audition and signed as a trainee with the agency in January of 2014. She dropped out of the school and moved to Korea to pursue her idol training.
During her training time, Mina got to appear in some music videos too. She was in miss A’s “Only You” and 2PM’s Wooyoung’s “R.O.S.E” music videos.
By May 2015, only 16 months into her traineeship, Mina joined SIXTEEN to compete for a spot in TWICE. While the duration may seem short, especially for a JYP Entertainment trainee, a fellow trainee who trained with Mina mentioned that Mina came ready and could sing and dance well when she signed with JYP Entertainment.
Now, Mina adds grace and elegance to TWICE’s performances and attracts tons of fans as one of the three Japanese wonders of this amazing girl group.
Dahyun was a trainee for three years and four months before she got to debut.
While Dahyun’s most popular past video of the “Eagle Dance” from 6th grade has nothing specific to do with her debut, it does show that Dahyun has always been passionate about dancing whenever, wherever.
Years later, when she was in middle school, Dahyun entered an adolescent dance competition by choreographing and arranging music on her own. A JYP Entertainment casting associate who attended the competition noticed her potential and offered to cast her as the agency’s trainee.
While training with JYP Entertainment, Dahyun had some opportunities to appear in other artists’ music videos. She was in GOT7’s “Stop Stop It” and 2PM’s Wooyoung’s “R.O.S.E” videos, gaining some more exposure since the eagle dance.
Dahyun’s participation in SIXTEEN shed light on the eagle dance again. She used this to her advantage and got a lot of attention on the first episode of the audition program by recreating the dance. Aside from the dance though, fans grew attached to her carefree spirit. She continued to improve throughout the show and ended up winning a spot in TWICE to debut.
“Dahyun has been chosen because although her skills are still unstable, she has the superstar potential that cannot be gained with training or practicing. She knows how to grab people’s eyes.” — J. Y. Park
Fans appreciate Dahyun’s presence in the team, as the ball of energy who likes to have fun and is truly full of talent underneath all the goofing around.
Chaeyoung trained with JYP Entertainment for three years and five months to debut with TWICE.
Chaeyoung never doubted her goal of wanting to become a singer. In fact, she wasn’t shy to chase her dream. She signed up for dance classes in 2011, when she was in 6th grade.
While honing her dance skills at a dance academy, Chaeyoung auditioned for PLEDIS Entertainment as well. By 2012, she passed JYP Entertainment’s audition and was signed to become a trainee in June of the same year. Her dance school uploaded a picture of Chaeyoung in class, titled “Chaeyoung Passed JYP Entertainment’s Audition! Last Class” and captioned, “Chaeyoung from Monday, Wednesday, Friday 7:10PM class had her last lesson today. Congratulations on passing the JYP Entertainment audition, Chaeyoung! Come see us often!”
During her traineeship with JYP Entertainment, Chaeyoung appeared in GOT7’s “Stop Stop It” music video, along with Dahyun and Momo. By exposing herself little by little and building up camera experience, Chaeyoung prepared herself well and was ready when she joined SIXTEEN.
While Chaeyoung received minimal coverage throughout the show, her talent and personality gained her a substantial fan base that supported her to ranking high.
Chaeyoung’s rap, along with her stable singing and groovy dancing, secured her spot as a debuting TWICE member. She is now a charismatic “Maknae (막내, youngest)” member of the group.
Tzuyu remained a trainee for three years prior to finally debuting as a part of TWICE.
Tzuyu shared on TWICE TV that she signed up for dance classes because she had always been fond of dancing. Around 2012, when the dance school filmed Tzuyu dancing at the recital and uploaded the video to YouTube, JYP Entertainment’s casting team watched it and became interested in Tzuyu. While Tzuyu’s face barely shows in this video, the agency knew exactly what it wanted.
The casting associate flew to Taiwan and saw Tzuyu dance in person. When the associate recorded Tzuyu’s dance to the agency in Korea, the casting team gave the okay to recruit Tzuyu. She was signed into the traineeship immediately.
On SIXTEEN, while Tzuyu’s visual received a tremendous amount of attention from the viewers, her talent remained questionable. In the earlier episodes, J. Y. Park criticizes Tzuyu for not having enough charm to be a debuting girl group member.
Along with Momo, Tzuyu was not in the original seven chosen to be TWICE. However, J. Y. Park saw potential in the incredible amount of improvements Tzuyu has made throughout the show and decided to give her a chance.
“Tzuyu was the one whose skills improved the most. The best way to see how passionate a person is to check how much he or she is trying to get better. Based on that, I believe Tzuyu is serious and desperate about this.” — J. Y. Park
It was a good call J. Y. Park made to include Tzuyu in TWICE, because since debut, Tzuyu has focused the spotlight on herself and the group with her out-of-this-world looks and growing talent. She has become the face of TWICE and continues to enchant more fans with her maturity.